For the past several months, Toni Greaves, a documentary photographer, has been a frequent visitor to our monastery. She originally came as the photographer accompanying Sarah Lynch who was writing an article on the phenomenon of the increase in vocations vis a vis the Internet.
Toni became enamoured with our community and monastic way of life and asked if we could be the focus of her multi-media project that she was doing as part of journalism photography course she was taking at the International School of Photography in New York City. We agreed and soon the "click, click" of Toni's camera blended in with our day and we'd even forget she was here until we'd find ourselves walking out of choir and getting a scare as she would be laying on the floor trying to get that perfect shot. As we became more comfortable with Toni's presence her shots got better and better. She even received honorable mention at a recent New York Photo Awards for a photo taken of a Sister at adoration.
You can see a few examples of her work here at the monastery on her homepage: http://www.tonigreaves.com/ The title of her project is entitled "RADICAL LOVE", identifying what is at the heart of our monastic life.
It's been years since we've had a community photo so we asked Toni if she would do this for us. This afternoon after Office of Readings was the moment! Sr. Judith Miryam posted a diagram so that each sister would know that she was supposed to stay HERE! In reality it got modified for the perfect shot. Sr. Mary Catharine was even able to look like she was standing by kneeling on a chair hiding behind other sisters.
Toni runs from the camera to get into a shot with the community.
For now, we don't have a community photo to share with you but when Toni shares it with us we'll share it with you.
We're not sure if it will happen but Toni hopes that her photography experience with us will eventually become a published book.
Nuns' guide to a community photo. Sr. Judith Miryam shows off her "guidebook" to ensure a smooth setting up for the community photo.